Rothera Research Station

Map showing Rothera research station, Alexander Island and Palmer Land. Note George VI Ice Shelf.

Our November 2012 field season to Alexander Island (Ablation Point Massif and Fossil Bluff) operated out of Rothera, a research station of the British Antarctic Survey. We flew to Rothera from Punta Arenas airport in a Dash-7 aircraft, and were quickly inducted.

You can explore Rothera Research Station through the Google Map below.

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Fieldwork training

Our first task was to complete the mandatory training for deep fieldwork. This involved spending a night camping out at Vals as well as walking Reptile Ridge with our field assistant, Ian Hey. This meant that we could practise using crampons and ice axes, get to know each other, and Ian could assess our fitness and abilities.

Wildlife at Rothera

When we arrived at Rothera it was still ice-bound with no wildlife. However, when we returned in mid-December, the sea ice had blown away and the seals and penguins had returned. You can see them in this video showcasing some of the wildlife around Rothera:

Working at Rothera

Many people conduct science and research from Rothera research station. There is a long-term environmental monitoring and research project, investigating marine ecology around Rothera Point. In December, the divers were out in full force.

Recreation at Rothera

Rest and recreation on your days off at Rothera includes skiing, walking, or persuading a field assistant to take you down a crevasse.

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